NEW YORK, Sept. 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- On Saturday, Sept. 24, Nickelodeon will bring for the first time its flagship Worldwide Day of Play (WWDOP) event to the Ellipse in Washington, D.C., for the biggest celebration of active play in the eight-year history of the initiative. Fifty partner organizations, "Let's Move" and the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition will join with Nickelodeon to host an entire day of physical activities and games for kids and their families to encourage active and healthy lifestyles. Additionally, as it has for the past seven years to commemorate WWDOP, Nickelodeon's networks and websites will go dark from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. (all times ET/PT) as a signal to kids and families to get up and get active. In D.C., activities will begin at 10 a.m.
"This event is the biggest celebration of play in our history," said Cyma Zarghami, President, Nickelodeon Networks. "The First Lady's leadership in elevating the importance of kids and families living healthier and more active lifestyles is a passion we share, and we are incredibly excited to be bringing our entire roster of talent to Washington to promote that message."
Since Sept. 3 and the weeks leading up to WWDOP, Nickelodeon has been airing an exclusive PSA featuring First Lady Michelle Obama as part of the effort to raise awareness of the event and the Million PALA Challenge. In the PSA, speaking from the White House lawn, Mrs. Obama encourages kids to get active an hour a day to earn the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA) and to celebrate WWDOP with their families later in the month in Washington.
More than 25 of Nickelodeon's most popular stars will travel to Washington to participate in WWDOP activities and events as part of the network's ongoing commitment to advancing awareness of healthy and active lifestyles. On hand will be cast members and characters from the network's hit series, including iCarly (Jennette McCurdy, Nathan Kress, Noah Munck and Jerry Trainor); Victorious (Victoria Justice, Daniella Monet, Elizabeth Gillies, Ariana Grande, Avan Jogia, Leon Thomas III and Matt Bennett); Keke Palmer of True Jackson, VP; Big Time Rush; SpongeBob SquarePants; Dora the Explorer; the Fresh Beat Band; Supah Ninjas (Ryan Potter, Gracie Dzienny and Carlos Knight), Bucket & Skinner's Epic Adventures (Taylor Gray, Dillon Lane and Ashley Argota) and the forthcoming live-action series, How to Rock (Cymphonique Miller and Max Schneider).
"This event would not be possible without the support of our outstanding national and local partners who will be offering fun games and activities for the entire family to inspire healthy living," said Marva Smalls, Executive Vice President of Public Affairs, Nickelodeon Networks. "We're looking forward to giving the D.C. community an unforgettable day of entertainment with our partner organizations on Worldwide Day of Play."
Nickelodeon and the WWDOP partner organizations*— including NFL Play 60, MLB, PGA, the National Park Service, National Park Foundation, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Kiwanis, National Wildlife Federation and National Environmental Education Foundation and Special Olympics International— along with "Let's Move" and the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition will set up on the Ellipse, located in the National Park Service unit of President's Park just south of the White House. Starting at 10:00 a.m. and going through the day, they will host a wide variety of activities, including baseball, soccer, dance, lacrosse, cheerleading, martial arts and entertainment, while offering audiences around the country live updates from D.C. In addition to supporting WWDOP on Sept. 24, the National Park Service will also celebrate National Public Lands Day on the Ellipse and at all 394 other national parks across the country by offering free admission that day.
Nickelodeon's television networks and websites will go off-air and offline from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. (all times ET/PT) as a signal to kids and families nationwide to get up and get active. Before going off the air at noon, the network's live-action stars will give viewers special on-the-scene reports from the WWDOP event, highlighting the activities and sharing tips on maintaining healthy and active lifestyles. Nick will resume programming at 3 p.m. with live updates from the Worldwide Day of Play event in Washington. At 7:30 p.m., the network will kick off an evening of primetime premieres with an action-packed half-hour special, Worldwide Day of Play: Washington, D.C., featuring Nick's hit live-action stars, highlights from the day's activities and a special performance by Big Time Rush.
In addition to WWDOP anchored this year in Washington, D.C., there are more than 4,000 confirmed local WWDOP events that will take place across the U.S. and also in countries throughout the year including Germany, France, India, Ireland, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Scotland, Sweden and Tanzania.
WWDOP began in 2004 as a part of Nickelodeon's The Big Help initiative, a kid-led movement for positive change that focuses on four key issues: the environment, education, health and wellness, and community service. Through The Big Help health and wellness component, kids are encouraged to be more active for healthier lifestyles.
Information about the Worldwide Day of Play event in Washington, D.C. will be available online at www.worldwidedayofplay.com beginning Sept. 15. The site will feature specifics about the location and schedules, along with videos and photos direct from the event posted throughout the day, as well as information on partner events and resources for planning your own day of play. A special video series entitled "I Play Because" will also be showcased with stars from Nickelodeon's top-rated series explaining why they like to play. Additionally, there will be a mobile version of the WWDOP site at m.nick.com. For real time updates on WWDOP activities, follow @NickDayofPlay.
For more information about Nickelodeon's 8th annual Worldwide Day of Play, visit http://www.nickpress-worldwidedayofplay.com.
Nickelodeon, now in its 32nd year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, online, recreation, books and feature films. Nickelodeon's U.S. television network is seen in more than 100 million households and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for 16 consecutive years. For more information or artwork, visit http://www.nickpress.com. Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B).
*2011 Nickelodeon Worldwide Day of Play Partners
Ability Path & Best Buddies Afterschool Alliance American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance American Heart Association ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) Art of Stepping Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development Building Our Kids Success Capital Fitness and Health Education Dance 4 Peace DC Soccer Inc., The GotSoccer Foundation & World T.E.A.M Sports Deafness Research Foundation Environmental Protection Agency (SunWise) Girls on the Run – DC Girl Up Major League Baseball and Boys & Girls Clubs of America Major League Soccer & MLS Works National Children's Museum National Environmental Education Foundation National Football League National Head Start Association National Parent Teacher Association National Park Foundation National Park Service National Wildlife Federation National Parent Teacher Association People for Bikes & Safe Routes to School PGA/First Tee Playward Port Discovery Children's Museum President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition Special Olympics International United States Olympic Committee United States Tennis Association US Youth Soccer United Way of the National Capital Area Varsity Brands (Universal Cheer) YMCA of Metropolitan Washington Youth Service America Zumba® Fitness